Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail
In the best cartoon ever made, “Scooby Doo Where Are You?” from the 60s, the episodes would predictably end when the monster is unmasked and the man beneath is revealed. The gang was always shocked! The culprit would then say that famous line, “I would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids and that dog.”
There is a monster in the Bible that is mentioned in almost every book of the Bible in some form or fashion and for good reason, too. The monster is “pride,” and we’re going to unmask it so that we know exactly what it does– and what it looks like.
Pride is a form of insanity— a blindness to our reality.
Judah didn’t have many great kings, but Hezekiah was one of the rare exceptions. In 2 Kings 18-20 we read about his eventful life (as well as in Isaiah, I Chronicles, Nehemiah, and Zephaniah). While he was a righteous king, he had to battle his pride. He had seen God’s great power in action in the lives of those in Jerusalem as a whole, and in his own personal life. God saved them from Sennacherib and his army and then Hezekiah was cured of a deadly illness. However, Hezekiah had a difficult time giving God the glory for those victories. He repented and turned back to the Lord (2 Chron. 32:25-26), but his children still suffered the consequences. There’s no such thing as a “self made man” and Hezekiah needed to be reminder that he was a “God-made man.” This proves that even the righteous man can struggle with the monster, pride.
Pride is a destructive form of amnesia.
How easy it is to turn to God when we’re in dire straights. Nebuchadnezzar had seen God save three men from a blazing fire he threw them in for not feeding his own ego by worshiping a giant image of himself. After witnessing this miraculous event, he acknowledges the Lord briefly, but his life isn’t transformed. While walking on his temple rooftop he says,
“Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30).
He seemed to have had a little more gloating to do, but while “the words were still in his mouth…” God drives him from the land and he is fed grass like an ox for seven years (4:25). You would think his son, Belshazzar, would not forget the difficult lesson that his father had to learn but he falls victim to pride as well.
Five Symptoms Of Pride
1. FEAR – We will find ourselves in fearful situations when we become consumed with self-reliance. We refuse to see that some things are really out of our hands.
2. ENTITLEMENT – Romans 3-6 says we deserve death on account of sin. We’re not entitled to anything but pride makes us think we’re better than we are and that we deserve more than we do.
3. PEOPLE-PLEASING – Pride is a form of self-worship and self-perseveration. We want the approval of others over God’s approval. Gal. 1:10 – “If I’m trying to please man I’m not a servant of God.”
4. HYPOCRISY – Elevating of status, forgetting God’s mercy, “holier than thou” mentality and quick to point out faults in others.
5. REBELLION – The one whose actions say, “I know better than God.”
Pride is a destroyer of lives. Let’s strive for humility so that God can use us in great ways.
Daniel 4:37 “…those who walk in pride He is able to humble.”